Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Peanut Butter Solution


A young boy receives a fright and loses his hair. A pair of benevolent ghosts give him the recipe to restore his hair, which includes peanut butter. His hair grows more than he expects and he becomes part of a diabolic plot in which he is kidnapped and only his friend can save him.

Girl, I can tell why kids like you so much. Your kids movies all have this magical look at the world. I liked the tender heart of the main character. Missing his mom, sensitive to what people thought around him...though such a brat to his sister. I thought the magical pictures were a great touch. What made me like him the most, is giving up all his cash to the beggar, it made me cheer him on the rest of the movie.

3 stars

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shanghai Noon


The Old West is changed, by the appearance of Chon Wang, a Chinese Imperial guard, who is set on rescuing a Chinese Princess, kidnapped by the traitor to the Emperor. He becomes entangled with outlaw Roy O'Bannon, whose goal is to obtain the gold brought into America to secure the release of the princess.

Girl, this movie is lighter fare than you pick, usually. But it reminded a few things I like about your picks. First of all, I like how you will click with and follow certain actors, such as Owen Wilson. Its fun that he appears as a cowboy in Night at the Museum in an uncredited role. I found his character the one I liked the most.

The movie moves at a fast pace and hits its mark in being funny. I found the rapport between the two male leads refreshing. I enjoyed the villian was kept smart and sophisticated in the midst of the humor. It didn't make me think, but sometimes laughing is more important.

Oh, and I didn't notice that Lucy Liu is hot, I swear.

3 stars

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Fifth Element


As a great evil approaches to annihilate all life on earth, an ancient weapon is delivered to earth by an alien race. Things go awry as the aliens are destroyed and the savior aboard the ship is resurrected as a red haired young woman. Confused, she escapes her rescuers and falls in the hands of a taxi-driver, ex-special ops soldier, Korben Dallas. Pursued by Zorg, who desires the woman and the four stones she could use to defeat the great evil, Dallas seeks to protect her and find out the meaning of this fifth element.

Girl, I enjoyed the comedic character of Oldman and the fact this movie can have fun with itself. The whole movie is visual, with great detail to a room set to the sweeping storm of the cityscape. The plot was besides the point as the characters took the forefront of the movie. I love the oddity of the film. Love became the necessary element and perhaps the true one. What made the film wrap well was the focus on Dallas and the girl and how ultimately it wasn't about them saving the world, but how they hooked up.

The stray thought did hit me of how much I would like to see you in a white vinyl strap dress and unwrap you.

3 stars

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


Traveling to Elsinore Castle, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern encounter a traveling troupe of performers. Made the audience, they find themselves thrust into the real life events of Prince Hamlet and his madness. Life becomes a play within a play. They wander through the events, living within the Shakespearean play, eventually attempting to escape its grasp, they find they must allow the living play to continue until they find out their own fates.

This movie reminds me of how you are attracted to stories with a quirkly, but decisive intelligence. Two elements endeared me to this movie: the twisted scenes of rhetoric and logic and the reoccuring physics experiments. The idea of life as a stage is carried to a comedic genius which draws itself through a maze of circumstances held together by the strength of each actor/character.

Most people would miss any merit to this movie, they would dismiss it as chaos. You sensed its worth and I'm richer for having seen it.

3 stars

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Kiss of Shadows


Princess Meredith lives in a world where magic and the ordinary exist side by side. She is hiding from her aunt, a Queen of the UnSeelie Fairy Court, playing the role of a detective who specializes in magical crimes. However, she is outed and must play a deadly game with her aunt in which the prize is either death or power.

I'll admit Girl, I enjoyed this book for too long, knowing it wouldn't work out. It had a definite sexiness which I found appealing, but then it drug on, making the book a simply exercise in overdone erotica. My enjoyment ended by page 80 as the book had become a tedious bore of trying to figure how to get the main character into bed with as many men as possible. There was a kernal of an idea here that could have be great. But as it made a bestseller list, I guess a lot of readers disagreed with me.

There's a lot more sex appeal in just how you say hello. The line of your neck is nice too.

1 star

Sid and Nancy


Punk rocker, Sid Vicious, and his girlfriend, Nancy, slide down a destructive path. Their romance is intense and despite their huge shortcomings, their devotion keeps them together. In some ways, their love becomes part of a force which totally consumes them.

This movie is like a story encased in chaos. At the center stand Sid and Nancy, whose passion for each other drives an arrow through the story which binds everything together. Their romance had an intensity which was attractive, while I wondered how it could so blind them to the aspects which were destroying one another.

I understand the intense feelings they have, though the movie saddens me as drugs kept them from burning up in a better way through their love.

I have very intense feelings for you.

4 stars

Closer


Two couple meet through various circumstances, develop deep relationships, however, they are attracted to a person in the opposite couple. A complex web of maneuvering, lies, and connections ensues.

Girl, this is a smart movie. It dives into the meanings of love and sex. The movie is more than its surface presents. Sex becomes a tool to gain power, to gain intimacy, and sometimes its pure lust. Each character views love in different way turning the idea of romance and sex over to the different views.

I found myself fascinated by the different stratagies each character took and the interplay of their characters. Anna was the one I focused on the most, because I still haven't entirely figured her out, which I liked. It hurt me when Dan lost her.

4 stars

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kalifornia


Brian Kessler is a writer, moving to California with girlfriend and photographer, Carrie Laughlin. Lacking the funds to make the cross country trip, they solicit passengers and accept Early Grayce and his girlfriend, Adele Corners to join them. Along the way, Brian intends to visit the sites of famous serial murders and work on a book for which he has already spent much of the advance. What they soon discover is that Early wants Brian's book to be a true-to-life experience.

This movie makes me scared of Brad Pitt. I found him an odd mix of fear, power, and peverted sensuality. The movie comes across as watching real events and not a fictionalized tale. One the things my Love, you seem to find in stories are the ones with fascinating, completely drawn characters. I never found myself wondering what could happen, I was always fixed on what was happening.

The movie is brutal at points. But the depth of the charaterizations thurst me into their lives in a way that I didn't go away.

4 stars

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mordant's Need



Ordinary Terisa Morgan steps through a mirror, guided by the apprentice imager Geraden, into another world, where it is assumed she is a powerful sorceress. She must walk through the maze of individuals vying for power in the land of Mordant, confront the threat which is destroying their world, and discover if she is more than believes herself to be.

You know babe, this is one of the first stories I read for you and it remains one of my favorites and on my top 5. I love this story for many reasons. The story swirls around power, Stephen twists and turns the plot around characters, each looking for the power which they crave. King Joyse is one of my favorites, and every turn with him was a pleasure. Master Eremis makes his moves for both the power and Terisa, bringing a sophisticated sexiness to the story. I read the first half fast, then slowed way down not wanting the characters to disappear.

I feel in love with this book as I read and at the same time I was finding myself loving you more and more. This gives this book has very strong emotional appeal for me, because the two will always go together.

5 stars

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What It Is


Lynda Barry's autobiographical content is part art and part writing course, told in a stream of consciousnesses told in an existential collection of images and words. It follows her childhood and education, the forces which drove her to stories and images, and how she grappled with each until finding her own way as a cartoonist.

Alright girl, you wouldn't like this book. Its a confusing mixture of cartoons, graffiti, and biographical musings that in the end becomes a creative writing class. It held my interest momentarily, as she showed how stories helped her escape a less than desirable childhood.

It drew my interest as being an award winner and the aspect of a budding young writer finding their way. However, its surrealistic nature and impressionistic manner of communicating made the book more work than I wanted to invest.

1 star

Monday, September 21, 2009

Makra Choria



Makra Choria is a princess. Her family weilds magical powers and serves at the mercy of the people who are given a chance yearly to kill the king. Her older sister seizes the throne, making sure her father loses his life in the ritual. Makra Choria learns a deeper magic, deposes her sister, then embarks on a series of adventures to see her reformed and a benevolent ruler set back on the throne.

Girl, this book has a good start, a good premise. The book begins with two strong leads: the struggle for power and a teasing romantic tie between Makra and a soldier. However, it collapses after 100 pages into a story about redeeming the older sister. At this point, the story makes no sense. The sisters have no motivation for their actions. Their relationship has no chemistry. There are many lost opportunities in this book.

1 star

Shopgirl (Movie)


At Saks 5th Avenue, Mirabelle passes her days in a black hole until encountering Ray Porter. The older man takes her on a romantic journey that is viewed much different from each person's perspective. Outcast Jeremy, who desires his own relationship with Mirabelle takes a journey of self-discovery which will place him back into her path again. The romantic triangle twists in place where each person will be much different than the person they were in the beginning.

When I first saw this movie, it was another gift from you. I watched it again after reading the book and found it wonderfully contains the essence of the story. The actors so well portrayed the characters, I had not noticed in the book how much more there was to the story until I watched the movie again, the movie had captured it so well.

Each actor was perfect for their role. They matched my visions from the book. Ray Porter frustrates me as he fails to see all he could possess in Mirabelle.

And by the way, I'm "in the moment" and taking a kiss.

4 stars

Cyrano De Bergerac


As an expert swordsman, prolific poet, and deep romantic, Cyrano faces two problems: his nose, which keeps him from attempting romance and his unyielding love for his cousin Roxanne. Roxanne is in love with a young cadet, Christian. Christian's problem is he has neither the wit or soul to fulfill Roxanne's notions of a lover. Cyrano and Christian join together to become the soul and face Roxanne can love.

I smiled when you mentioned this movie, the story is one of my favorites in high school. I remember writing anonymous letters to a girl after reading the story.

The movie's atmosphere caught me first. The costumes, buildings, and landscape gave the characters a rich atmosphere to wander in.

For me the beauty of it all is Cyrano's love. He is tireless, ever focused on Roxanne. He even notices when her hair style changes. He uses words to win her and she falls so in love with him, mistaking his soul for Christian's.

I love writing for you, with that I understand and relate to Cyrano. I hope through my words you might see my soul.

4 stars

Sunday, September 20, 2009

They Live


A construction worker finds a pair of sunglasses, discovering that through them the world is full of aliens who are brainwashing the population.

Alright babe, when I first picked this up I wondered if I was going to like it. The movie is a low budget science fiction/dark comedy. The acting is a bit questionable, the special effects are cheap, and the movie is engaging.

The story is an experiment in power and control. With subliminal code in print and TV, the alien control all of society. The main character, Roddy Piper, is not a great actor, but this character was made for him.

Despite its cheesy exterior, I find this to be one of my favorite movies.

3 stars

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Suite Scarlett


Scarlett Martin's family owns the Hopewell, an historic hotel in New York City. As with each of her siblings, she becomes the caretaker for a suite on her 15th birthday. Her suite comes with the flamboyant and difficult Mrs. Amberson who leads Scarlett on a series of mishaps. Romantic tension is given through Eric, an actor and all involved move towards the culmination of producing a Broadway show to raise money to save the failing hotel.

Babe, its a book which pretends to be a slapstick comedy in type. The writing isn't bad, the story moves quick, but its cutesy. Description is well done, overpowering the dialogue at times. I felt as if I were reading a TV sitcom. The book is almost too perfectionist in style. I just couldn't get into the head of Scarlett. She seemed uninteresting. Not amused I've set it aside

2 Stars

Shopgirl (book)


Twentyish Mirabelle works the glove counter of a department store, quietly letting the days slip by. Her quasi-boyfriend, Jeremy is the antithesis of her intelligence and artistic streak, he is slow, self-absorbed, cheap, and almost brain dead. She doesn't care enough about life anymore for it to matter. Ray Parker appears, 50, stylish, rich, and interested. At first, Ray is a romantic opposite to Jeremy, then Mirabelle finds herself rubbing off a veneer on Ray exposing a lot of Jeremy underneath.

When you first introduced me to the movie, I really liked it. I found the book amazing. The story doesn't differ in much, but the writing is rich and full of detail and thoughts the movie couldn't convey.

Girl, his writing is crisp and smart. From his comparison of the neighborhood between the department store and her apartment resembling a backwards Monopoly board where the values decrease as you drive to a comparison of Maribelle and a co-worker which is seen as divisions of Kantian philosophy, Steve shines.

I loved the romantic and sensual undertones to the book and how it shows Mirabelle and Jeremy changing and refinding one another, while Ray changes too late to attain the love which could have been his.

The book made me think of how useless some gifts are and how the gift of myself is one of the most meaningful gifts I can give you.

I'm off to add it to my list.

4 stars

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Arrival


A man leaves his family, hoping to build a better life in another land. The land is strange in language, food, animals, and all the nuances of culture. What is most amazing, is the whole story is told without words.

This isn't my usual read, however, its award winning status made me interested. Babe, the story is told in beautiful sepia tone blocks with a surrealistic feel that makes you feel what the immigrant feels. The story reads like its familar and distant at the same time. Its silent film style is captivating. Its similar to the Hugo Cabret style though there is never any text.

I'm glad I read it, its a quick read and enjoyable. It won't make my list, though is was a pleasant acquaintance over dinner.

3 Stars

12 Angry Men

A jury deliberates the fate of a teenager charged with murder and facing the executioner's chair. At first, the jury is 11-1 in favor of guilty. But the varied personalities begin to discuss the trial and the certainty of the evidence, developing a reasonable doubt. Most of the movie takes place in a single room where the passions of the 12 ebb and flow around the fate of the defendant.

You are attracted to movies with strong emotions. The combination of those emotions and the underlying philosophies which drove each juror kept me locked into the swirling and intense discussion. It seemed inevitable the jury would decide the defendant was "not guilty", but the movie wasn't about the verdict. The story is an underlying picture of people's prejudices and thoughts and how they shade their emotions and desires. The rhetorical persuasion made the film even more engaging.

This is something I really adore in you, an attraction to things of great passion and depth.

4 Stars

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wide Sargasso Sea (1993)


Jean Rhys' story finds its way to film as a prequel to Charolotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre". Antoinette Cosway is the heiress of a Jamaican plantation who finds herself in an arranged marriage with a Mr. Rochester. The couples' love and passion builds but unravels in the face of vodoo and Antoinette's descent into madness.

Babe, I went into this movie expecting a prequel and instead found a stand alone story which didn't depend on Jane Eyre for any of its impact. Their passion is matched, however, I wondered from the beginning if Rochester ever loved her or was just moved from his physical desire for her.

His character goes from a sexy domination to a troubling authoritative attitude over her. As his passion changes, I found myself understanding her madness. He had her, but didn't keep her safe.

3 Stars

Outlander


Claire Randall vacations with her husband Frank in Scotland, looking to rekindle their relationship. Frank is startled one night by a ghost, in highland costume, staring up at Claire's window. The next day, Claire goes to the site of pagan rituals and finds herself transported back to 18th century Scotland, where she despises the man who looks like and is the ancestor of her husband, while marrying and falling in love with his enemy.

Girl, this novel annoyed me. The fantasy element is a mere device to bring her into the past and is mechanical. Nothing else about the tale is in the fantasy genre. At times, it attempts to be historical, giving backgrounds on diseases and kings of the time. Here and there it shifts into a Harlequin romance. The main character drones on about meaningless details, while her character never gains any interesting depth in herself. For someone who likes the Harlequin view of history they would find it a delight.

1 Star

Tigana


The name Tigana is forgotten by all but those who lived in the small country before a powerful wizard and king casts his spell and rules ruthlessly over her citizens. The tale assumes the arcs of those wishing to overthrow King Brandin, his spell, and restore the name of history of their country which has been lost.

This book is in my top five, Girl. It is a book about power and love, entwining them in a complex, intelligent world in which I felt I was walking in as I read. I fell in love with Dionora, watching her shifting emotions and love with interest. The loyalties and friendships of the rebels delievers characters I can believe in and want to know more about. Brandin is a tyrant who grows closer to your heart the closer his demise looms. As with all my top books, I grieved when it ended, feeling like I lost contact with a close friend.

My only frustration was knowing you related to a character and not being able to solve the mystery of which one (I couldn't think outside of the gender box). I want to read this one again soon.

5 Stars

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life Is Beautiful


Guido loves Dora, simply and completely. Through his wit, humor, and bravado he wins her over. As the Jewish waiter woos the girlfriend of fascist official in World War II Italy, the world changes around them pushed aside through Guido's devotion and comedic view of life. The second half of the movie follows the family's life in a concentration camp, where Guido uses the same humor and wit to hide the horror of the situation from their son.

Girl, this movie touched me. The humor is intelligent. Guido's translation work with the German guard going over the rules of the camp pulled at me as I laughed at the humor and wanted to tear up over then tension of making his son think this was a family vacation. The tender moments when he figured creative ways to let Dora know they were still alive. He gave them all of his love.

I always want to have you feel me around you like Guido floated around Dora, knowing I think of you as much as he thought of her.

4 Stars

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eat Drink Man Woman

A movie with a subtle sensuality.This 1994 film takes the idea of Fiddler on the Roof and makes it sexier. Set in Taiwan, an aging chef and widower discovers his three daughters are moving outside the bounds of cultural and family traditions in pursuing romance. The movie creates a tension between the enjoyment of food and the pleasure of sex.

I like how many of the movies and stories you give me take twists. The story moves in unpredicted ways as each daughter navigates her path, breaking rules as they go. However, despite the pursuit of each, their loyalty to one another becomes evident as their many flaws and missteps reveal their character, devotion, and love. The father's choice was a surprising left turn for me which broke the story away from its Fiddler on the Roof motif and gave it a unique life.

The fashion held my attention as I had frequent thoughts about how good your legs would look in the skirts of the daughter who worked for the airlines. And damn...your hair...anyway, I digress.

4 Stars




Donorboy by Brendan Halpin


Hey babe, this is the tale of a teenage girl who loses her lesbian moms in an accident and finds herself in the custody of her father, the sperm donor. In attempting to come to grips with her grief and new situation, Rosalind begins a "grief journal". The story is told in creative fashion through her journal entries, e-mails, and instant messages between her friends and her "dad", Sean.

Brendan is a good writer, giving quick development to his characters and their angst as they attempt to gain footing in their new family situation. However, the dialogue centers around the high class whining of the two protagonists.

Both of us hear enough people complain about nothing, so why read it in a book.

The plot is predictable as the two creep towards understanding one another.

Boring.

The novelty of the writing wears thin after 30 pages when the plot stalls and the characters cease to show any direction for interesting development. This idea of story through correspondence was carried out much better in the children's book: Dying to Meet You: Old Cemetery Road 43, which despite its cleverness didn't make either of our lists.

2 Stars